It is not business as usual at Kogelo

Pupils and students at the Senator Obama schools in western Kenya on Friday sent their first emails using solar energy to United States President Barack Obama. Photos/DAN OBIERO

What you need to know:

  • Previously unknown little village now has a police post among other security detail

Relatives of US President-elect Barack Obama in Kogelo may soon find themselves living different lives from their previous routines.

Though police sources did not want to give more details on the planned security arrangements, it was clear that Mr Obama’s step-grandmother Sarah Obama might be left to go about her activities in Kogelo without an escort.

And the Nyang’oma home will soon have a permanent police post built to ensure security round the clock.

Police patrol

In what could be the biggest deployment of officers in a home and village, Kogelo is now set to have a police post.

This is in addition to the police patrol base situated right inside the home which so far has over 20 police officers, most of whom are in plain clothes.

Siaya police boss Johnston Ipara on Friday said that the police had acquired 1.3 acres of land where the new police post will be constructed to step up security.

“The title deed has already been issued and the work on the site is set to begin soon,” said Mr Ipara.

The new police post is situated about two kilometres away from the home of Mama Sarah, added Mr Ipara.

The police boss further said that the current police presence guarding Mama Sarah would remain until otherwise advised by the Commissioner of Police.

Initially, eight police officers were posted at the patrol base to provide security to Mama Sarah after an attempted robbery in the homestead.

This figure was stepped up in the run up to the US presidential election on November 4 when police said that they were expecting a lot of activity at the home.

The officers now vet everyone who comes to the home.

But the new status has also kept the family within the script of the security officers who pry in their daily activities.


Mr Ipara could not however disclose whether the family members, especially the grandmother would be assigned a bodyguard, saying that in itself would be compromising the security.

But sources close to the family say that among the tough new measures visitors will have to undergo, apart from screening at the gate was the fact that Mama Sarah house was no longer accessible to everybody.

Meanwhile, Mr Ipara said four days from yesterday have been set aside for MPs from the region that wish to congratulate the Obamas at the rural home.

He said the next four days were expected to be busy with the family receiving politicians most of whom are expected to fly from Nairobi.

“We are expecting MPs from this region to visit Mama Sarah from today (Friday) until Monday,” said Mr Ipara.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is among the prominent people expected at Kogelo upon his return from a trip abroad.

Since Tuesday’s historic election of Mr Obama, several people and institutions